Welcome to my website. Its about growing fresh herbs amongst my vegetables and fruit trees and their use in the kitchen. The presence of these herbs benefits the other edible plants by attracting pollinators and helping to repel pests. They add beauty and pleasant aromas to my garden with their attractive foliage and flowers...............John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 23rd July 2016.
Comfrey is lush and fast-growing and the whole plant is an excellent soil conditioner.
roots reach deep into the subsoil accessing minerals out of reach of
most other plants in the garden. These minerals, which have
been leached out of the topsoil by rain, can be recycled.
If kept well fed and watered Comfrey will provide an excellent supply of leaves
for the compost, as a mulch or made into a rich liquid fertiliser.
The leaves have a highly beneficial concentration of potassium, nitrogen, iron, magnesium,
calcium, silica, and are very high in protein.
The flowers are an excellent bee attractant.
Variety: Symphytum x Uplandicum.
Family group: Boraginaceae.
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigation.
Recommended soil pH. 6.0 - 7.0.
Minimum sun per day: 3 hours.
Plant spacings (centres): 500mm.
Climate: Warm temperate.
Comfrey needs full sun.
Its dormant in winter and needs winter chill to set flowers later in the season.
It grows well in moist fertile soil, but can stand hot weather because of its roots, which access water deep in the soil.
Clear a space in spring by removing old mulch, dead leaves
and unwanted organic material. Choose a place where it has not been
grown for several years.
Apply a 60mm top dressing of homemade compost. and cover with about 50mm of straw mulch.
have always propagated comfrey from seeds sown in mini pots in the propagator, and transplanted them as seedlings in a prepared bed.
Alternatively, comfrey can be propagated fromroot
cuttings or by crown division.Root cuttings
are made by cutting pieces of root about 250mm long in Autumn and bury
them on their side 25mm deep in acompost propagator.
When they shoot in spring, transplant them into the prepared bed.
Comfrey should not be moved once established, as any pieces of root left behind will produce new plants.
To remove a comfrey plant, bury the whole plant under a layer of wet newspapers and a
thick layer of mulch. This rots the comfrey plant leaving very rich
soil in its place.
Care must be taken not to allow the comfrey plants to become hard to control weeds.
fast lush growth, make sure you keep the soil surrounding your comfrey
plants moist, especially in hot dry weather.
Once the plant starts to grow vigorously apply a foliar spray of aerated compost tea every 4 weeks.
Harvesting and Storage
harvest comfrey for use in the worm farms in my Ecobeds and as a stimulant in my compost heap.
Comfrey has medicinal properties, and was used traditionally for both internal and external use. Unfortunately it has been found to cause liver toxicity and is now regarded as a poison if ingested.
For this reason, I don't use comfrey in the kitchen or in the medical cabinet, but it is still a nutritional powerhouse when incorporated into soil.